Oregon Electric Vehicle Trends & Stats
In 2019, Oregon set very ambitious market targets for zero-emissions vehicles (including both battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles). The goals included:
- By 2020, 50,000 registered ZEVs
- By 2025, 250,000 registered ZEVs
- By 2030, 25% of registered vehicles are ZEVS and 50% of new cars sold are ZEVs
- By 2035, 90% of new cars sold are ZEVs
The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the market and supply chain prevented the state from reaching the first goal (as of October 2021, 43,478 ZEVs registered), but Oregon’s robust incentive programs show that the state is ready to get electric vehicles on the road.
What incentives and programs does Oregon have to aid EV adoption?
Purchasing an electric vehicle is a major investment, but Oregon offers a variety of rebates and tax incentives to make it easier. Electric vehicle (EV) drivers can save $2,500-$7,500 on their new, used, or leased vehicle through the Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, depending on income and the vehicle’s battery size. Recent changes were made to this program in January 2022 to increase eligibility for low and moderate income households. Oregonians can also use the federal EV tax credit, for up to $7,500. This credit, however, has a cap for each vehicle manufacturer. Both Tesla (Oregon’s most popular EV manufacturer) and General Motors have reached this cap.
Many utilities in the region also have rebates available for EV drivers who install chargers in their home or have EVs registered to their account. These rebates range from $50-$1500. Check with your local utility to see which ones are available in your area. For example, PGE, the utility provider for 1.9 million people in the Portland and Salem metro areas, offers a $500 rebate for customers that install a Level 2 charger. There is a larger rebate, up to $1,000 for customers who earn 80% or less of the median income for their area. Tesla drivers can also enroll for a rewards program. For charging around town, PGE has incentives for commercial and office buildings to install chargers for employee use.
Lastly, an EV will cost less to maintain and “fuel” over time. Oregon’s electric utility prices are 3 times cheaper than gasoline fuel. Maintenance for EVs is also much simpler and therefore cheaper than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. There are fewer moving parts, no oil changes, and the regenerative braking feature of EVs (charges battery while braking) leads to less frequent brake pad changes.
Mild temperatures are optimal for EV battery performance and longevity. Li-ion batteries perform best between 60°F/15°C and 95°F/35°C. In extreme cold, battery performance is reduced due to slower ion transport. This can temporarily reduce available power (limited acceleration) and available energy (vehicle range). At extreme high temperatures, material degradation takes place, which causes permanent capacity loss. Vehicles that spend an extended amount of time in high temperatures will need battery replacements sooner. It is also worth noting that at hot and cold temperature extremes, drivers will be using climate control. The vehicle heating and air conditioning is also powered by the battery on-board, limiting the range for that trip.
Oregon’s climate varies across the state, but vehicle owners in more temperate areas, such as in the Willamette and Columbia Valley, should experience fewer temperature-related effects. These regions are also ideal because of the flatter terrain. The high power loads required on steep mountain roads can also affect the lifetime of the vehicle battery.
With the help of federal funding and programs such as Electrify America, Oregon has invested in charging stations and infrastructure across the state. Oregon currently has 1 charging station for every 20 EVs. Recently, as a result of the federal infrastructure bill, Oregon’s Department of Transportation will receive $52 million over five years for EV charging infrastructure. It is expected that these funds will be prioritized for highways that are part of Alternative Fuels Corridors. In Oregon, these corridors include I-5, I-84, I-82, and US Highways 26, 101, 20 & 97.
Simultaneously, the state is introducing policies to improve infrastructure. For example, building codes will require that parking structures throughout the state include charging infrastructure by October of 2022. In order to lead by example, all state buildings and offices are installing EV chargers as well.
Is Oregon a good place to buy a used EV?
As of January 28, 2022, the average price of a used EV in Oregon is $44,277, which is more than neighboring states California, with an average price of $36,566, and Washington, with an average price of $41,057. However, Oregon also has far fewer vehicles in inventory. Below is a comparison of the average price for a used EV in states with the highest inventory.
The lowest price used EV for sale in Oregon is a 2013 Nissan LEAF for just under $6K. While this vehicle likely won’t get a ton of miles, it could be a great starter EV for someone who has to do local errands or get to and from school. On the other hand, the highest priced used EV in the state is a $150K 2021 Model S - likely a performance model, based on the price point.
There are 36 different used electric vehicles available for under $20,000 in Oregon - that’s more than 10% of the inventory. These include LEAFs, older Chevy Volts, some Fiat 500e’s, Ford Fusion Energi’s, and some 2014 BMW i3’s. Again, the range will be limited on many of these models since they are older and have smaller battery packs, but they can be very sufficient as a second car or a first car for a teen driver. There are also great bargains on hybrids, which can typically run entirely on electric for local trips, but have an optional range extended that is powered by gasoline.
If you look at vehicles under $30,000, there are certainly more to choose from: 124 vehicles in total. This widens the inventory to newer versions of many of the same models. However, these newer models come with much better range and newer batteries, such as 150 miles + on a 2019 LEAF or BMW i3. Between $30K and $40K, you see some Pacifica Hybrids and a few older Tesla Model S’s, as well as the newest used model years mentioned above. But, most of the inventory is priced between $30 and $45K. In fact, there are only 98 vehicles listed above $50K - Teslas, Audis, BMW Hybrids, and the new Mustang Mach-E.
Oregon’s used inventory is unusual because there are so many 2021 models listed. It is unclear why this is the case. Also notable is that there are a lot of 2013 vehicles for sale. However, like we see across the country, the most popular model year is 2018, followed closely by 2019. 2019 is an important year when looking for used EVs, since average range jumps.
Oregon is also unique because the most popular used model is the LEAF, followed by the national favorite, the Model 3.
Recurrent tracks 293 electric vehicles in Oregon. Of these, 275 are fully electric (BEV, or battery electric vehicles) and 18 are plug-in hybrids. Each day, most of our all-electric drivers go between 10 and 38 miles, which is well within range for all used EVs on the road. In fact, the average range that we predict for our Oregon BEVs is 226 miles on a full charge, out of 241 miles original EPA rated range. This means that our average Oregon EV retains 93.8% of the original range as per the EPA.
Most of the cars that Recurrent tracks are Teslas, which have a higher average mile per day than other all-electrics. The Pacifica Hybrid is the only car that drives more per day.
We can also look at the breakdown of Recurrent vehicles per model year.
Since so many of the vehicles in the Recurrent fleet are Teslas, we can also see how the data changes if we exclude them. This leaves us with 149 vehicles across Oregon, with 131 being battery electric and 18 being plug-in hybrids. The average miles per day driven drops to between 6 and 33 miles, and the average percent of original range retained is 92%. The EPA rated range for the non-Tesla vehicles in our fleet is 191 miles, and the current predicted range is 175.
When you exclude the Teslas, there is a much higher percentage of vehicles from 2019 and later, as well (47%).